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REVIEW: The Jack Moves – Free Money

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REVIEW: The Jack Moves – Free Money

Photo Courtesy of Grandstand Media

Photo Courtesy of Grandstand Media

Photo Courtesy of Grandstand Media

Photo Courtesy of Grandstand Media

Wesley Dankwa, Music Staffer

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RIYL: Steve Lacy, Matt Martians, Sly and The Family Stone, Funkadelic, Roy Ayers

Free Money is the sophomore album released on Everloving Records of duo, The Jack Moves. Made up of Zee Desmondes (vocals and guitar) and Teddy Powell (vocals, instrumentalist, and producer). The duo hones their classic R&B sound while incorporating elements soul and funk into the mix, as well as poignant but subdued lyrics about love and heartache, among other things.

The instrumentals are overwhelmingly smooth; with mellow guitar playing, silky bass lines, and the careful incorporation of horns, pianos, and more which provides the background for candid and reflective lyrics. The combination of the two create a nostalgic vibe that feels like the album could have come from a very distant time. That’s not to say that Free Moneytries too hard to attain a sound that is vintage, but I think the production is a unique modern take on an otherwise retro sound that can be likened to the golden age of soul music: the 1970s.

The lyrical subjects of the songs on the album also contribute to the mood, the lyrics are pretty much as blunt as it gets. Some of the choruses and verses are almost hypnotic, on songs like “Three the Hard Way” where during the chorus it’s chanted “I’ve been down for so long. Help me, Help me, baby. Can you please save me?”. Or on my favorite track on the album. “You’re Gonna Miss Me” where the phrase “You’re Gonna Miss Me Girl. Just you wait and see.” is repeated in the intro and the chorus. The lyrics make me empathize or even believe that the narrator is in the right in all of these little episodes exploring themes of love, lust, and heartache. The emotion that pervades throughout each of the phrases on each song is palpable, but it is not overbearing. At the end of each song, closure is apparent and the songs don’t extend past where they should have ended.

Overall, Free Money is a refreshing album in the R&B/Soul genre, it does not hesitate to stray from contemporary conventions. The Jack Moves incorporates elements of rock, soul, and funk into their own nuanced take on an R&B sound. Free Money exemplifies The Jack Moves’ ability to create a laid back, smooth ambience with their lyrical content in addition to their instrumentation.

Recommended: 1, 4, 8, 9

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